Bengals Decimate Raiders in 33-13 Victory
Sep 13, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders tight end Mychal Rivera (81) is unable to prevent an interception by Cincinnati Bengals free safety Reggie Nelson (20) in the third quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Bengals defeated the Raiders 33-13. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
At defensive end, Carlos Dunlap made two nice tackles, one of which was a sack. He performed well; if he can keep his production up, he could be a potential Pro Bowl nominee.
Michael Johnson started at RE, posting a tackle. Although he didn’t make a significant impact, it’s nice to see Johnson back in the starting lineup after a year off and an MCL injury that had Bengals fans fearful he would miss significant time this season.
Geno Atkins is always at the center of attention when the Bengals are on defense, but he still managed to make two tackles, one of which was a strip-sack.
Domata Peko had a very typical game; he didn’t record a single tackle but he did manage to point out a false start penalty (I had a good time with that on Twitter).
Overall, the tackles didn’t make a huge impact, but they contributed to a run-stopping effort that limited Raiders running backs to 63 rushing yards on 16 carries.
Cincinnati’s linebackers finally looked like they were able to tackle opposing players. Let’s hope that trend continues after Vincent Rey, Rey Maualuga and A.J. Hawk combined to make 20 total tackles.
Chris Carter made three tackles, one of which was a huge hit in punt coverage. P.J. Dawson and Emmanuel Lamur held their own on defense as well. Hopefully one of these three players will step up to the plate and contribute to the point where Cincinnati knows who to start alongside Maualuga and Vontaze Burfict when he returns from injury.
May 26, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Darqueze Dennard (21) during OTAs at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Cincinnati gave up two receiving touchdowns to Marcel Reece in garbage time, but aside from that, the corners made a good effort. However, this position group made a few mistakes that could have cost Cincinnati in a closer game.
Dre Kirkpatrick‘s first start went fairly well, as he recorded two tackles. However, he gave up a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct that was completely unnecessary.
Leon Hall added three tackles, one of which was a big hit on a Raiders receiver; he wasn’t a huge liability in coverage, which is always a positive.
Adam Jones made 10 tackles and forced a fumble, but he made a dirty hit on Amari Cooper, removing Cooper’s helmet and trying to bash the receiver’s head into it at the end of a play. That will likely cost Jones a suspension for at least a week, if not longer. Jones is already likely on the Commissioner’s bad side after a tweet he made in response to DeflateGate and several past on and off-field incidents.
The lone bright spot in this circumstance? Darqueze Dennard earned some playing time and could earn even more time on the field if Jones ends up being suspended. He recorded three tackles today and held up in coverage when he took over for Adam Jones after Jones sustained an injury.
The AFC North’s best safety tandem showed up to play today, as George Iloka recorded two tackles and Reggie Nelson added an interception. Iloka, however, drew a penalty for taunting after he made a big hit on a Raiders receiver.
Aside from Iloka’s penalty, however, the Bengals’ safeties played well; they didn’t give up any significant deep passes. In fact, the Raiders only saw one reception go for at least 20 yards, a 24-yard reception by Amari Cooper.
Shawn Williams also got some playing time after Iloka sustained an ankle injury, recording two tackles in the strong safety’s absence. Iloka should be healthy enough to return to action next week.
Next: Special Teams/Summary